Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 1

Captains Log
Stardate -312967.8207128361

My crew and I have been asked to take Star Trek Online for a three week shake-down cruise. We set sail at 6 pm GMT.

A liveblog is something of a stream of conciousness affair, where I’ll be writing my impressions of the game as they come to me during the playthrough, rather than planning anything out. So I may change my mind later on about something I’ve said previously!

Star Trek Online Login Screen

Star Trek Online Login Screen

6:10 pm GMT

We’re off. Or we would be if I wasn’t dithering over what shape my head ought to be. I’ve filed my first bug-report, regarding weird miscoloured bits that occur on many of the beards. Looks like the secondary colour selector ignores what you select and stays the default colour. Facial hair is important!

6:15 pm GMT

I was kicked back to the login screen while writing previous entry, and it would not allow me back in. The servers seem to be having a few issues.

Aha, I’m in. But all the UI text is missing. And then it kicked me again after a minute or so.

6:26 pm GMT

It’s proving difficult to make a character before the server kicks you back to the login, and you have to start over. I guess I’ll have to be less fussy about what this one looks like.

6:38 pm GMT

OK, Captain Arkenor Oakshadow has been created and stored. Let’s roll!

Star Trek Online Map Server Full

Gah!

6:42 pm GMT

I’m in! But it looks like the Borg arrived just before I did.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 1 300x174

Uh oh. That doesn't look good.

“Battle Stations!” I cried, before remembering that I’m just an Ensign and don’t get to yell cool things like that. Looks like the Cap’n wants me on the Bridge. Probably needs a fresh coffee.

He’s going to have to wait til I manage to log back in again though. Hard to stay in game for more than a minute or so right now. The first hour of Open Beta is always going to be a bit grim, and I hope Cryptic are paying a whole lot of attention. They’re probably deliberately not using all their hardware, to see some real stress on the system.

7:11 pm GMT

Still stuck trying to get back in, but such is the way of launchdays, especially open beta ones.

While I’m waiting, one thing I noticed. I think Cryptic made a mistake making the uniforms from the TV shows all pre-order bonuses from different retailers. They’re what folks are used to. None of the uniforms on offer in the character creator felt right to me, though I daresay I’ll get used to them eventually. For Live I get TOS uniforms with my pre-order, but I would have dearly loved the DS9 or TNG ones. There has been a suggestion that they might be available for sale in the Cryptic shop eventually. Would be annoying to have to pay extra for them, but if that’s what it takes, I’ll do it.

How is everyone else doing out there? Drop me a comment!

7:29 pm GMT

Still no joy. I’m learning the words to this while I wait. Hopefully things are sorted before the lyrics are burned into my cortex.

7:34 pm GMT

Some word from Cryptic:

We are looking into the Login server issues. Right now it is slammed with everyone creating characters. The faster you can get past the character creation screen the more likely you are to get in game until we push a fix for the login server problems.

We are also looking into the “map is full” issue.

If you get a MAP list when creating a character – select a map with ZERO people in it for best chance of getting in.

The map being full is what I’m experiencing at the moment. I never saw a map list.

8:03 pm GMT

I’m a bit quiet right now, as there’s only so many times I can post “Still can’t get in.”. Soon as I do, I’ll report back. My Captain is going to be pretty unhappy about the wait for his coffee, or whatever it is he wants.

Character creation was pretty simple, apart from the agony of designing your appearance. You pick from a choice of engineering, science, or command, which are the equivalent of classes. Then you pick up to 4 racial traits, some of which are picked for you if you chose a standard race.

8:27 pm GMT

We’re in! Movement is taking a bit of getting used to. I suspect the server issues are causing a fair bit of lag. Occasionaly I do a combat roll for no obvious reason, which is going to have all the other science officers pointing and laughing at me.

Looks like my Captain, revealed as Captain Qat’Anmek, is getting a bit impatient.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 2 Captain QatAnmek 300x174

Aye Aye, Cap'n!

While I can, let’s take a look at Star Trek Online’s paper doll and status screen.

Star Trek Online Paperdoll

A fine looking fellow!

The required traits are the ones that you have to have if you’re a human. I picked the other two. You start with a type 2 phaser, a personal shield standard issue, and a couple of hyposprays.

Now, I suppose I’d better find that turbolift before I get court-martialed.

20:49 pm GMT

On getting to the Bridge, the Captain asks me to hail the USS Khitomer to find out what’s going on over there. I hope he’s not been waiting on me for that.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 3 Bridge 300x172

Pesky Borg!

Oh dear, it looks like they were! It seems the USS Khitomer has been over-run, and the only person we can hail is their Emergency Medical Hologram (Not the model we’re familiar with from Voyager. This one has hair.). And so it is decided that clearly the wisest course of action is to send the young Ensign science officer over to the Khitomer to kick the Borg off it. I am duly sent down to the execution chamber, otherwise known as the transporter room.

9:05 pm GMT

After beaming across to the Khitomer, you’re confronted by a medical lab filled with the wounded. The EMH asks you to scan one of them. We’re still very much at the stage of them teaching us how to interact with object and NPCs. After that, he sends you speak to Lt. Thelis, who needs help using the transporter to send some Borg into the vaccum of space.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 4 Borg 300x171

The Borg!

My first meeting with the Borg! Fortunately they’re standing on the other side of a force field, so just amble about a bit. Not particularly impressed by the Borg models. They don’t look quite right to me, but maybe the forcefield is makling them look a bit odd. Anyhows, I’d better get on with introducing them to the wonders of explosive decompression.

Ah, it might be the lighting. Just looked at myself, and I’m horribly pale and odd looking to. I noticed a similar problem with Champions Online which uses more or less the same engine. Often lighting effects just wash all your colour out.

This post is getting a bit long and picture-filled, so I’ll continue in Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 2!

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